The Smell of Roses

For Shay’s Prompt on day 12 of NAPOWRIMO. Write about someone you loved who didn’t know you loved them.


The Smell of Roses

“Whenever you look up, there I shall be—and whenever I look up, there will be you.”Gabriel Oak, character, Thomas Hardy

I met you on a warm June day
the smell of roses and the river in the air.
I looked up into your eyes,
the color of rich dark chocolate
and like dark chocolate,
they made me shake my head in amazement.
I wondered how your lips would taste,
would feel when pressed against mine –
just the slightest bit and then harder.harder.
I fell in love with you then and have
carried you around in my heart all these years.
You left. Never to return.
You smiled and said goodbye.
I wonder again and often
how your lips would feel, would taste.
I wondered at the feel of your hand on my skin.
I wondered at the taste of your skin under my lips.
I wondered at the smell of you after sex.
A warm June day
the smell of roses and the river in the air.
Nothing but ashes on my lips.

24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coalblack
    Apr 12, 2019 @ 07:35:59

    Oh, Toni. The scene, the smells, the longing, the loss. *huge sigh*

    Reply

  2. Ron.
    Apr 12, 2019 @ 08:57:44

    Yeah. I hear you. Mine was named Grace.

    Reply

  3. Cara Hartley
    Apr 12, 2019 @ 09:47:34

    Beautifully written and sad.

    Reply

  4. Ellecee
    Apr 12, 2019 @ 10:18:00

    So sad, such a strong desire left unfulfilled 😢

    Reply

  5. annell4
    Apr 12, 2019 @ 10:32:37

    A beautiful poem, and the image of the cherry blossoms, so perfect.

    Reply

  6. Kerry
    Apr 12, 2019 @ 11:03:56

    I fell in love with you then and have
    carried you around in my heart all these years.

    I recognize this particular ache.

    Reply

  7. Sherry Blue Sky
    Apr 12, 2019 @ 12:53:06

    The carrying him around in your heart all these years….and those closing lines. Perfect! I so know the feeling.

    Reply

  8. Jim
    Apr 12, 2019 @ 14:09:20

    Sensuous to the senses, I counted four. And liked them all, I am semi hooked on Nutella. Reminds me of one who ditched me for her ‘old’ friend who came home from overseas and the Air Force to stay. We had been together long. I did see her little brother once at an Oklahoma welcome center where we e changed niceties.

    Reply

  9. Sophia DiNola
    Apr 12, 2019 @ 17:16:54

    I like use of all the senses… and the effect of the quote and the petals falling…Everything works so good together. 😊

    Reply

  10. Vivian Zems
    Apr 12, 2019 @ 17:45:52

    Memories turning to ashes…this is yummy sweet and poignant

    Reply

  11. Susie Clevenger
    Apr 12, 2019 @ 18:53:37

    Goodness, your words, visuals…sigh I so like a poem that gives me the “feels.”

    Reply

  12. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Apr 13, 2019 @ 03:28:36

    I thought at first you were professing love for Gabriel Oak, and was going to say, ‘Good! He deserved someone to love him, as it took Bathsheba so darned long.’ But perhaps you only used that quote as a jumping-off point for describing a long love of your own.

    Reply

  13. kim881
    Apr 13, 2019 @ 04:34:30

    You chose the perfect quote, Toni! It’s the olfactory sense that really gets to me, too, which is one of the reasons I love this poem. I also love being drawn into someone’s memories. Of course, I will never experience what you did, but this kind of sharing is the closest we will get to each other.

    Reply

  14. Brendan
    Apr 13, 2019 @ 07:14:56

    Long time to stay pregnant with that fascination. But that’s the power of the poetry.

    Reply

  15. Carrie V. H.
    Apr 13, 2019 @ 11:18:28

    Sigh…..this is absolutely gorgeous Toni! I love everything about this poem, and my heart can relate to the scene and questions. I guess we all have that someone in our past, or at least most of us do.

    Reply

  16. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Apr 13, 2019 @ 19:25:22

    … and there is always that possibility that if you had kissed and things proceeded as normal… this sweet unrequited love would not be so … sweet. I think we all have someone like this… I know I do. sigh…

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Apr 13, 2019 @ 20:01:13

      I think for about two weeks it would tavern wonderful and then…not so wonderful. But I still think of him sometimes and sigh.

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